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KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– The Dwight and Gloria Kessel Auditorium was dedicated Wednesday at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

 The 228-seat auditorium, in UT’s Science and Engineering Building, honors the Knoxville couple for their longtime support of UT programs.

A plaque was unveiled in honor of the Kessels, who recently became members of the UT Founders Society, the university’s top gift club, for their gifts to UT’s 21st Century Campaign.

 “Naming this auditorium after Dwight and Gloria Kessel is one way of showing how much their friendship means to this university,” UT President Joe Johnson said. “We are proud to have their name associated with our Science and Engineering Building.”

 Dwight Kessel, a 1950 UT-Knoxville industrial engineering graduate, was Knox County Executive from 1980-1994.

 “This (dedication) gives us a wonderful feeling,” Kessel said. “Quality education is the backbone of our country and it is important that it receives strong support. We are just glad that we’ve been able to help.”

 Gifts from the Kessels last June provided professorships and graduate student support in UT-Knoxville’s College of Engineering and helped fund part of the County Technical Assistance Program in UT’s Institute for Public Service.

 “The Science and Engineering Building is one of the finest facilities of its kind. It is appropriate that the building’s main forum is named for Dwight and Gloria Kessel,” UT-Knoxville Chancellor Bill Snyder said. “He is one of the college’s most successful graduates, and they are sincere supporters of quality engineering education.”

Kessel is president of Knox Air, an aviation service company. He chairs UT’s Development Council and formerly chaired the Chancellor’s Associates. He is on the College of Engineering’s board of advisors, the college’s 21st Century Campaign chairman and was the recipient of the college’s 1996 Outstanding Industrial Engineering Alumnus award.


 Contact: Mike Bradley (423-974-2225)